Vice President Mike Pence’s staff has threatened to retaliate against a reporter for sharing an email sent to him by Pence’s office asking members of the press to wear a mask during an official visit to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
On April 28th, Sean Hannity, a Fox News host, threatened to sue The New York Times over a column that linked a Brooklyn bar owner’s death from coronavirus to Hannity’s comments that downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic.
“The public health crisis provides authoritarian governments with an opportunity to implement the notorious ‘shock doctrine’ – to take advantage of the fact that politics are on hold, the public is stunned and protests are out of the question, in order to impose measures that would be impossible in normal times,” Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.
Reporters Committee Attorney and author of the 2019 Press Freedom Report Sarah Matthews explains why borders and protests remain risky for journalists, as well as how data collected in the US Press Freedom Tracker drives her advocacy work.
The report cites data collected by Freedom House, which shows that, at a minimum, 26 countries have enacted or introduced laws and government rules restricting online media and journalistic access in the name of controlling “fake news.”
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected President Donald Trump’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit that claims that the President retaliated against media companies and reporters who were critical of his actions.
“These suits will likely fail in court but in the meantime they’ll gratify Trump’s base, distract the press and public, and deter speech and journalism that are vital to our democracy. That's presumably the point," Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University Jameel Jaffer said on Twitter.
The San Francisco police raided Bryan Carmody's home and office in May 2019 to find information on an anonymous source. Unsealed documents later revealed that the police did not inform the judges who had approved of the search warrants that Carmody had a valid press pass.